Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lemon scones recipe is a tea-time treat

Tea can be enjoyed throughout the day, and so can these lovely scones. If you're serving them in the morning, don't hesitate to mix the dough the night before. A food processor will make quick work of cutting the butter into the dry ingredients. Stir in the liquid, then cover the dough tightly and refrigerate. The next morning, knead the dough and shape the scones while the oven  preheats.

Like all traditional scones, these are lightly sweetened. They have a double dose of lemon flavor, provided by lemon juice and grated zest. You can amp up the lemon flavor even more by drizzling the cooled scones with the glaze described in the second variation.

You can split these scones and fill them with butter or clotted cream and jam. Clotted cream, also called Devonshire or Devon cream, is a classic accompaniment to scones (and the "cream" in an English cream tea). You can buy clotted cream at some high-end groceries or make your own using a recipe such as this one.

However you serve these lemon scones, everyone is sure to enjoy them -- with tea, with a glass of cold milk, or even with a mug of coffee.

Yield: 10 to 12 scones

1 medium lemon
½ cup cold whole milk or more if needed
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling 
¼ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet.
  2. Grate the zest from the lemon; set zest aside. Squeeze the lemon juice. Measure 1 tablespoon juice; add to ½ cup milk.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest. Cut the butter into ½-inch cubes. Scatter over the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender or two table knives or the tines of a sturdy fork, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture forms fine crumbs. 
  4. Pour milk-lemon juice mixture over top. Stir just until combined. If dough doesn’t hold together, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.
  5. Sprinkle a clean surface (such as a sheet of parchment paper) lightly with flour. Turn dough onto the floured surface. Knead gently six times, then form into a ball.
  6. Place the ball of dough on the baking sheet. Pat into a circle about ½ inch thick and 8 to 9 inches in diameter. With a bench knife or a sharp kitchen knife, score into 10 to 12 wedges, being careful not to cut all the way through.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until wedges are lightly browned. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with butter or clotted cream and jam.
Variation 1: To make mini scones, pat dough into two ½-inch-thick rectangles side by side on a baking sheet. Score into small triangles.

Variation 2: Let scones cool completely, then drizzle with a glaze made from 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, about 2 tablespoons lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon.

Food processor method: Combine dry ingredients and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Scatter cubed butter over dry ingredients; pulse about 20 times, until fine crumbs form. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and proceed with the directions in Steps 4, 5, 6, and 7.

Adapted from a recipe posted at

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